Troubled newstrade wholesaler Dawson News has lost its battle for survival following the loss of several major distribution contracts with newspaper and magazine publishers and has gone into administration.

Remaining wholesalers Smiths News and Menzies Distribution are expected supply Dawson's retail customers, with Smiths announcing it had reached an emergency agreement with the administrator and taken over responsibility for 20 of Dawson's depots supplying some 5,500 independent retailers.

Smiths' director of operations Graeme Underhill said: "We recognise that there will be uncertainty as the new arrangements settle in and we're working hard to minimise this. In areas where we already have local depots, we will have to consider our logistical needs."

The company said it would close depots in Warrington and Heywood, where has its own distribution centres.

"It is a priority to keep former Dawson's staff in their current roles, or redeploy them where possible," Underhill added.